In the last week I have enjoyed my usual walks around our place, out onto Mullimburra Point and up and down ‘our beach’ also known on the map as Parkers Beach between Meringo and Mullimburra. My mind is just a bit distracted with our imminent departure to Europe for six weeks, and all the organising that entails. I have not been able to think of entering the little challenges that I usually might enjoy. So come on a wander with me for some natural beauty, fresh air and a little wildlife.
I walked with a friend right to the end of the Point, only to find this young chap a bit uncertain about how to let us pass … after all one slip and he could end up in the ocean over the edge of the rocky cliff. Sadly young males do not have a good survival rate, after all one adult male might have a group of ten or more females, so the excess males are not ‘needed’ and are left to fend for themselves. About 5% of males survive to maturity and alpha male status. We made our way around him slowly and carefully, leaving plenty of space. Sorry if you did not want to know this, life can be raw at times and is not much like a Disney movie. However I should tell you about Silver, an extremely bouncy vivacious male we met about 2000 or earlier. He had what was needed and grew to be handsome and strong. By 2007 all the new joeys had distinct silver colouring, and we knew who was responsible. We have not seen him now for several years, and the joeys all take after another male we call Brown Bear!
After we walked around the young kangaroo this was our view … looking south to the sacred mountain. See how she lies on her back, her hair flowing away towards the west, her belly swelling with fertility, and her long legs towards the sea, across which one her two sons still waits for her. Gulaga’s youngest son Najanuga (Little Dromedary), stayed behind with his mother while his brother Baranguba (Montague Island) went out to sea on an adventure and never came home. Gulaga is also known as Mount Dromedary.
This Australian Raven watched us as we stood on the Point, wind ruffling its feathers. Ravens have come into my life briefly at significant times. I find it interesting to ponder the meaning of this bird, staring so boldly at us while we were in a power place at the end of Mullimburra Point. Raven can be understood to help us deal with complexity and problem solving, and to be a useful guide in spiritual times, such as our recent celebration of Samhain, welcoming in the days of the dark.
The small Pittosporum revolutum plants are flowering and fruiting now, creating bright spots of energy in the bushland. While birds are preparing for mating and breeding in a few months, shrubs and trees will soon be a mass of flowers, long before the official Spring season. Here flowering is at its height in July and August, so these red and yellow explosions are very welcome just now!
On the beach, water is still flowing into the lagoon, where excited fish splash and dash, and hopeful birds hunt. This is the path the waves take as they find their way upstream. Swimming is fabulous right now, with water temperatures over 23 degrees, often warmer than the air. We always tell people to visit in April as that is the best time for swimming, so bear it in mind if you are planning to come this way.
Some of our favourite visitors, the sooty oystercatchers, gathered near the ocean’s edge. Perhaps they have had their fill of pippis and are resting in the morning sunshine. When we walk by them they might ignore us, or if we are too close they give their high piping call and take to the air, arcing around over the waves to land a little further away, hopefully no longer in our path.
Leaving the beach to walk towards home we met Vulcan on the path … well, Vulcan and his people, with whom we chatted for a while. Isn’t he a handsome boy?
The weather has been quite confused, hot sun, cold winds, rain in the clouds that may or may not fall! Tonight we have fire alight for only the second time this year. The other time was specifically to warm our water, for the booster trips out in hot weather and does not reset itself. Then when we have three or four days of thick cloud (we have solar hot water panels) there is no hot water for our showers! One simple answer is to light a fire and heat it using the ‘wetback’ on the fuel stove. My grandparents had no hot water in their house, only the big kettles on the kitchen stove that was kept alight all day. There was an electric jug for emergencies, but I don’t remember it being used. Nana had a copper in the corner of the kitchen, in which to boil up her washing, and we had a chip heater in the bathroom to heat bath water. I loved the sound of the chip heater, which produced an alarming chug chug chug soon after it was lit. Then a slow stream of scalding water would begin to flow into the bathtub! I lived there for about four years of my childhood, experiencing a life that no longer existed in the cities. How grateful I am.
Those mixed clouds gradually lit up as the sun lowered. Our days are short now, just six weeks until the solstice and the slow return of the sun commences. I hope you are enjoying your longer days in the northern hemisphere, just as we are enjoying the fire and snug evenings here. It will be strange to find ourselves back in Spring soon, hopefully finding wildflowers in the Andalucia, and delighting in English gardens and of course la belle Paris with all her charms, including our newest grandchild.